CDPHE to allow spectators at state football championships

CHSAA

A maximum of 75 spectators, per team, will be permitted in the stands during each championship football game this weekend.

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment indicated in a letter to CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green on Monday night that the agency, “has modified its position on spectators to allow a maximum of 75 spectators in the stands, per team, which is the limit of the outdoor seated events guidance provided in Public Health Order 20-36 COVID-19 Dial.”

This came after CHSAA had petitioned CDPHE to reconsider its amended variance last week which would have disallowed spectators at the championship games.

The distribution of tickets for Championship Weekend will be managed at the local level by individual schools.

“Our qualifying teams, school communities and staff were anxious about receiving a favorable decision,” said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. “We submitted our reconsideration request on Friday and have spent numerous days asking our stakeholders and media partners to be patient. We are a small piece of the puzzle within the many decisions being made by state officials in these challenging times.

“We celebrate each incremental decision, even those delayed, as we continue to intentionally advocate for CHSAA schools and school communities in resuming safe and equitable participation during the disruptive impact of COVID-19,” Blanford-Green added.

Wrote CDPHE executive director Jill Hunsaker Ryan, in the letter to CHSAA: “As a public health agency, we are trying to balance mitigation of disease spread, but also acknowledge that some parents may choose to transport their children to the game.”

As a result, each team will be permitted to have 75 fans at the championship games, under strict guidelines that must be followed.

  • Non-household groups must maintain 6 feet of distance;
  • The groups of 75 must enter and exit through different egresses;
  • They must utilize different facilities, such as restrooms, to “fully keep these two groups as separate events”;
  • All spectators (along with non-active participants, coaches, officials and staff) must wear masks, without exception.

The only venue approved by CDPHE to host the state football championships is CSU Pueblo. The variance approval for this CHSAA state championship event was completed and submitted weeks ago. Without the extended variances, the season would have culminated prior to the postseason with the recent changes to the state dial.

The game schedule is as follows:

Thursday:

  • 2 p.m. – 6-man
  • 6 p.m. – 8-man

Friday:

  • 2 p.m. – 2A
  • 6 p.m. – 4A

Saturday:

  • 10 a.m. – 1A
  • 2 p.m. – 3A
  • 6 p.m. – 5A

CHSAA has a press conference scheduled for 12 p.m. on December 1 to preview the championship games. Each head coach of the participating teams is scheduled to participate.

CHSAA Championship Weekend will feature all seven football championship games at one location for the first time in the 100-year history of the Association. The public can view the press conference live on YouTube: https://youtu.be/XUd5yJbEn_o. 

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